Talk about an Easter basket with something for everyone: The Faberge Big Egg Hunt hinges on a cool mobile app that lets adventurous New Yorkers indulge in their love for trendy artists, high-end fashion designers, urban exploration and extravagant jewelry. And if that’s not enough, there’s even a noble cause at stake, with proceeds from the event benefitting the Elephant Family, which protects habitat for Asian elephants, and Agnes Gund’s Studio in a School, which brings art into city schools.
“It’s always so great to find a way to do something old in a brand-new way,” says Kedma Brown, VP/director of integrated production for Saatchi & Saatchi, the agency for Elephant Family. “Egg hunts are centuries old. But the app we designed, using Nomi's beacon technology, makes it more fun. As people get closer and closer to the egg, they can tell they’re getting hotter and hotter.”
While this is the third hunt, it’s the first in New York; the first two happened in London. And this is the first to use this Bluetooth-enabled technology, she tells Marketing Daily.
The hunt itself works like this: Designers and artists (ranging from Ralph Lauren to William Wegman) have gussied up 260 two-foot egg sculptures, hidden across all five boroughs of New York. Egg hunters can download the Big Egg App, which uses beacon technology. For those with iPhone 4S or later, the eggs are “collected” simply by turning on Bluetooth while hunting. Others have to scan the QR codes found on the egg plinths.
“The market is so saturated with apps right now that unless you can come up with one with real utility, it’s not going to work,” she says. “So we were thinking about how to build an app that would get consumers to engage in the hunt, and make it interesting. New York is a big city, so they needed help, and this beacon technology made sense.”
Each time 10 people have collected an egg, more eggs will be revealed. By April 8, all eggs can be seen on the map. Clues will also be distributed on Facebook and Twitter. Hunters have until midnight of April 17 to track them all down.
For its sponsorship, Saks is featured as a key destination in the citywide hunt. It’s the exclusive department store, selling some 20 mini-egg replicas, constructed from ostrich eggs, as well as a children’s fairytale book with clues for the first 24 eggs. (It will also host a special pop-up appearance of the “Waldo Traveling Egg.”)
About 20 eggs are hidden in the vicinity of Rockefeller Center, directly across the street from Saks’ New York flagship, adds Kathryn Neugold, account supervisor at Saatchi & Saatchi New York.
Additional funds will be raised when the eggs are auctioned off at Sotheby’s. Bidding is already open, with the auction scheduled for later this month
The contest also involves chances to win two gem-encrusted pendants, donated by Gemfields, which produces ethically sourced rare colored gemstones. The first is valued at $30,000, and the second is worth $48,000.
The eggs themselves are “amazing,” says Brown, adding that her favorite is made of Legos. And Neugold says she was most wowed by the egg designed by Saatchi & Saatchi, which incorporates a functional hourglass.
Adds Brown: “This has been magical, because we’ve been able to combine art and culture and New York City for an app, all with it benefitting two great causes. But do we think this could work for a number of other clients? Absolutely.”